Tag Archives: Madden

Report on Madden25

Greetings, readers. It’s official. I am addicted to this game. After scrimping and saving for months, I was able to save up just enough to purchase Madden25 (the 25th anniversary of Madden) online via the Playstation store. Here is my report on this game and my rating.

Having not played the last two Madden versions, I did not know that they had switched their announcing team from Cris Collinsworth and Gus Johnson to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Sorry Cris and Gus, but Jim and Phil edge you out. That’s not to say that the old team didn’t bring style and class all their own. Now on to game play.

Madden25 has something called connected owner mode. It is simply fascinating. After one season of play, you can move a team, there are seventeen cities to choose from, and change the team name or keep it the same. There are usually three or four team names to choose from. For instance, the Rams could go back to Los Angeles or become the LA Aftershocks. Other cool team names are the Toronto Thunderbirds and the London Black Knights.

As always, you can adjust how many minutes per period you play and the skill levels. Even though I am using what they call custom sliders, I’m still winning rather easily. My made-up team the Portland Lumberjacks (I moved the Rams to Portland) are 8-3. Next season I will probably increase the difficulty level. As you know I am a glutton for punishment. My next season test will be to move a team to Barcelona and choose one of their two or three name choices. I’ve had the game two weeks now and I’m still learning. Such fun.

Now to the very slight negatives of this game. Sorry Mr. Simms but I gotta tell you that even though your commentary is excellent, I have two criticisms. And I don’t know whose fault they are. Number one I suppose is the developer’s fault for making a lot of your commentary way too repetitive. Second, I’m not sure if you do this in real life, but they have made you a very negative and picky broadcaster. When I say out loud to the TV screen, “Oh, shut up, Phil,” I know I’ve heard one of your picky comments, such as, “That’s just a bad play call by the offense,” too many times.

Other than the commentary being a bit too repetitive, this is probably one of the best video games I’ve ever gotten my hands on. As some of you know, I am a MLB TheShow baseball nut and Madden25 made me shelve the baseball game mid-season. As with all addictive personalities, the newness from this game will wear off, and I’m sure I won’t play it quite as much in the weeks and months to come.

Now for the four final grades.

Gameplay: A+

Commentary: B-  (The sideline reporter, Danielle Bellini is a definite highlight.)

Ease of Game Play: B+ (The verdict is still out on this one, for I am still experimenting.)

Other intangibles, such as ambiance and team movement: A+

Final rating: A- (A good solid 9.75)

Ok folks, let the debate begin and please do chime in with comments if you wish. I will respond.

Until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

MLB 12 The Show … I’m drooling

Greetings baseball fans and blog readers. In early March, Christmas day #2 comes for me. It is the release date of my favorite video game for the PlayStation 3 console, MLB12 The Show.

I have been playing this game for at least five years, if not longer. I began on my PS2 system, where the graphics were good but not exceptional. Since switching to the PS3 system, I have been blown away by the game’s realism. From the players’ faces and body movements to their swings and throws, every aspect of the players have been designed as realistically as possible.

Also, every stadium is impeccably rendered with details, such as working clocks that keep accurate time, and ivy at Chicago’s Wrigley Field that does not start growing until a month after the season starts. But now back to the game play itself.

This year, the added highlights are going to be enhanced play-by-play (mimicking more accurately the game’s situation), more realistic game play (the balls might hit a base and take a strange hop, for instance), and finally more realistic throwing and hitting motions. For someone like me who enjoys the subtle details, like the added realism of the New York and Boston crowds with their specific accents, it’s just an added bonus to an already perfect game.

The MLB The Show franchise is a Sony exclusive and in a couple of years the PS4 is due to come out. OMG. I have no reason to believe that this game will not survive into the PS4 era and I can only imagine that Sony will achieve even more realism. What I would like to see are subtleties such as rain-outs in franchise mode, where a player would somehow have to play two games to make up for it, the occasional snow flurry for early season games in Boston, Chicago, and Toronto, and perhaps an easier method of taking your very own photo and incorporating it into a created player. I would also like to be able to play games in such recently closed stadiums as Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Riverfront in Cincinnati, and Tiger Stadium in Detroit, as well as any others they may wish to incorporate – hint, hint.

The truth will now be told. I only purchase two games per year. John Madden football and MLB baseball. Though the Madden game is excellent, MLB baseball is my personal favorite and I have no doubt that I will be thrilled with this latest installment. Yes, sometimes games do get ruined by their developers trying to improve them, but so far MLB The Show has been extremely careful not to do this. They just keep adding to the realism.

Many, many years from now, when the PS15 comes out, I would love to have the chance to hear… somehow… announcers of years gone by. To be able to hear Vin Scully say, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”, or Phil Rizzuto utter, “You got that right, White,” or his classic, “Holy cow!” would complete my ultimate baseball experience.

Until next time… : )

P.S. Forgot to spellcheck before publishing last week. Oops. Sorry, folks. I just went back and fixed the mistakes.

Virtual Sports Reality

Hi there, readers. As I continue to do research for the blog entry about my father, I’d like to share something with you, which to me is a personal revelation. I was thinking about this Monday night as I was having one of my frequent insomnia bouts. It finally dawned on me why I love Madden football and MLB baseball for the PS3 gaming system so much.

As a youth, I was completely uncoordinated, clumsy, and awkward. A star athlete, I would never be. All the highlights that school age young men get to do, I never did. For instance, I never tried out for the high school football team. Heck, I could barely run, much less tackle anybody. The only football I could throw any distance was a Nerf, and my balance was such that being a running back or a wide receiver was out of the question. I would have had my own personal stretcher.

I didn’t try out for the baseball team, or softball, or basketball. Same rules apply there, I just didn’t feel myself a strong enough person to compete, mentally or physically. So when school was over, I got in my mom’s car and we drove home. I entertained myself with records, TV, and the occasional touch football game with kids from my neighborhood who knew my physical limitations and took it easy on me.

The video games in the early days were laughable as compared to what they are today. As of the last three years, sports games for the PS3 system are ultra-realistic. I watched a video on YouTube yesterday for MLB12 The Show. It was their official trailer. I didn’t think the game could get anymore realistic. I was wrong. Can’t wait ’til March 4th! Well, getting back to the topic of this blog post, the reason I love these games so much is simply this: It allows me to pretend that I am the coach, the manager, or even one of the players on these great professional sports teams. When I hit the X button on the controller, it’s me hitting the home run or striking out the powerful batter.

The other night I actually said to myself out loud, why don’t you quit being a writer and go work for either EA Sports or Sony? Well the answer is simple. I like being a writer too much. Sure I’ve got some ideas for improvements for their games; that is what email and phone numbers are for.

Well, I’m off to email my Dutch cousin to hopefully get the final few puzzle pieces that I’ll need for the blog post about my father. Until very soon, take care and have a great day.

Getting ready for the weekend

Hi Folks. As I get ready for company coming in for the weekend, my attention will be on them and not on my writing. I do have some good ideas, so that when I return on Tuesday or Wednesday, blog posts will return with a vengeance.

From what I understand, the weather here in central Pennsylvania is not going to cooperate with any outdoor activities. But there will be plenty of food, beverages, tv shows, and PS3 games to keep us occupied. While I will be losing a couple of days of my normal writing routine, I think the break shall do me good.

The former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno, passed away this past Sunday. I have some feelings I’d like to share and will probably do so the first blog entry of next week.

I’m working on four hours of sleep today, because I just couldn’t turn off the brain last night. With my friends coming in I have a multitude of things to do to get ready. As I am prone to sleeplessness, thinking about things in the late evening is always a hazard. At 3am, I turned on Netflix and watched Cleopatra for a while. Wasn’t Liz Taylor beautiful back then? Then it was on to Madden 12 football. I lost.

I wish all of you a good weekend. Please feel free to leave comments and I shall respond to them. Until next week …